On the first Sunday in October, Christians around the world celebrate communion together with World Communion Sunday. On this date, Presbyterian churches receive an offering for peacemaking.
The Peacemaking Offering is transitioning to a new offering this year: the Peace & Global Witness Offering. This offering will be used to expand global witness while maintaining Presbyterians’ longstanding commitment to work towards peace and reconciliation, especially in cultures of violence. Congregations and presbyteries each keep 25 percent for their own peace and witness ministries while 50 percent is sent to the national agency, the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
Nationally: our “50 percent” contribution to peacemaking has taken many forms. The documentary film, Trigger: the Ripple Effect of Gun Violence – the subject of discussion last year at Third Church – is an example of peacemaking resources which are developed for use by local congregations. Another example would be the ‘program planning support’ for the 2014 Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference, Mosaic of Peace: Responding to a call for Peace in a Land Called Holy. Members from our local Presbytery traveled to the Holy Land in response to the call, joining over 100 Presbyterians.
Our Presbytery 25 Percent: Helps support the People’s Ministry in Christ, a Presbyterian presence which provides mission and outreach in the Dewey-Emerson area of the city. The regular congregation of People’s Ministry is 15–25 people, multi-racial, primarily adults, with many fighting addictions and/or mental illness. PMIC tries to help each person realize who they are in Christ. Many of them have grown closer to God and to each other.
Our Third Church 25 Percent: this year, on recommendation of our local Peacemaking Mission Team, our ‘25 percent’ will go towards the work of Doctors Without Borders. Although Doctors Without Borders has been much in the news with their work to help contain Ebola outbreaks in Africa, the agency actually works in 70 countries around the world, saving lives by providing medical aid where it is needed most – in armed conflicts, epidemics, natural disasters, and other crisis situations. Much of their work calls for rapid response, but they also provide longer-term help, tackling health crises and supporting people who cannot otherwise access health care.
Thank you, Third Church, for your past support of peacemaking locally, nationally, and around the world!